The Slave's Lament

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"The Slave's Lament" is a song first published in 1792 in volume four of the Scots Musical Museum.[1]

It is often claimed that the lyrics were written by Robert Burns.[2][3] However, University of Glasgow academics say that he almost certainly did not write it.[4][5]

The song is the subject of Graham Fagen’s installation originally created in 2015[6] with the help of the composer Sally Beamish, reggae artist Ghetto Priest and producer Adrian Sherwood, for that year's La Biennale di Venezia, and in 2017 in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery,[7] part of the 2017 Edinburgh Art Festival.[8]


  1. ^ "The Slave's Lament". James Johnson. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  2. ^ "The Slave's Lament". Robert Burns Country. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  3. ^ McGinn, Clark. "Robert Burns and Slavery". Scotland: The official gateway to Scotland. Scottish Government (Crown Copyright). Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  4. ^ "The myth of Scottish slaves", Stephen Mullan, published March 4, 2016, accessed 22 June 2021
  5. ^ "Scotland and Slavery",, Lisa Williams, published 9 October 2020, accessed 22 June 2021
  6. ^ "Graham Fagen presents reggae version of Robert Burns poem at Venice Biennale". Scottish Ensemble. Scottish Ensemble. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Graham Fagen: The Slave's Lament". National Galleries Scotland. National Galleries of Scotland. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  8. ^ Cumming, Laura (30 July 2017). "Edinburgh art festival review – the dark side of Robert Burns". The Guardian Online. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 30 July 2017.